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Who will live and who will die.
Just over a week ago on Motsei Shabbat we spent about 30 minutes in mum’s room chatting about changes that we needed to make with her apartment as we found that we could not move the entry door as we had hoped. She was fine. At some point between then and the following morning my (Adam’s) mum passed away of an unknown cause. Every year on Rosh Hashana we pray/say/discuss that everything that is going to happen to us is decided on that day and that it is confirmed on Yom Kippur (or Hoshana Rabbah anyway), but how much do we actualise this and realise how much it actually affects us. It hit me very hard last week. My mum was so excited about moving into her own apartment whilst still being attached to and continuing contact with our family – and now we will not have this. I am not going to say anything else here about my mum as any words that I use will limit and belittle her in a way that is incorrect.

Life goes on and however we mourn we can’t live only in the past but also need to move forward and so I am continuing the blog to give any advice, support and laughs or ideas that may come about due to our experiences and mistakes. We had done quite a lot the first week since the previous blog, but since then we have just made some design changes to fit in with our changing circumstances.

I am going to start with the fish tank. We want a fish tank. It works out that the only place we can really put a fish tank is as a wall/barrier between the hallway/kitchen area and the sunken lounge. We spoke to an aquarium specialist (Uri) about 2 weeks ago. We agreed with having a freshwater tank with an outside sump. The tank inside will have a width of 45cm and a height of about 62cm (This height was chosen as this is the maximum height possible with Israeli glass and the cost of shipping glass dramatically increases the cost). The sticking point is the overall length of the tank. The specialist wants 3 metres and we are saying that is TOO ostentatious – and that is before we looked at the costs. We originally wanted about 1.3 to 1.5 metres. We told Uri to discuss the length with Tamar so that she can make the sizes fix up correctly with the overall design (safe cop-out and saves us making the decision). It looks like the final length will be around 1.4 metres and we will have to increase the size of the sump to compensate for this allowing us to have a very stable aquatic environment. We have prices for a 1.5 metre tank – these will need adjusting slightly but we do have an idea of the cost.

Air conditioning – As in the previous post – we have agreed on the type of air conditioning that we are using, but we have not finalised where all the air emitters and return flow units are going to be. We discussed options with Tamar and she is going to make a design relative to our discussions and we will take it from there.

Shopping – We were supposed to go and pay for the tiles/plumbing fixtures but this was delayed. We will aim to do this during the next week.

The downstairs apartment – We are now changing this into a rental unit. Therefore we are adding an English window instead of the electronic ventilation and we are leaving all other windows/doors the same size as they already are. The rooms with English windows will not have a lot of natural light – but they are in the basement. We have told Tamar to redesign this area appropriately. We also are going to change the tiles that we had chosen as they were expensive and there are other options that are also high quality but cheaper.

Garage – We are now not going to be including a garage door – but will have a section that is secure for tools.

Garden – We keep discussing that we need to include the garden design (even if we do not do it now) but we still haven’t started it. We do need to find time to start on this – fairly soon.

Kablan – The walls were almost up the last time we checked. We need to go in the next day or so to confirm that they are finished. Finally – the contract. We still haven’t signed one. This is convenient as we will now be making changes in the basement area. When the Kablan is back from his holiday he can recalculate the costs and we can take it from there.

That’s all for now,

Adam & Joelle